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AUGUST 2010

Dear Kids, Whew! August already? This summer is just zipping by! Many of you are already back in school or heading back this month, so I’ve got some back-to-school fun in this issue. Or, you might be taking one last summer vacation, or visiting a local zoo. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work with animals as a career? This month, I talk to someone who trains animals at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. What an amazing job! I’m also really excited about our new ParenTown book review page. We’ve partnered with famous author James Patterson’s READKIDDOREAD.COM to bring you reviews of exciting books that we know you will love! Head to your local library and check them out! I hope you enjoy this issue of Kidsville News! Keep reading, and be sure to visit online for more fun and games. Hope you have an awesome August! Your friend,

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Kidsville News! It’s Back-to-School Time! It’s back-to-school time for many of you! The American school year traditionally begins in August or September. Some areas start in September after Labor Day, but some start in August. School systems have to have a certain number of instructional days each year, so that determines the start and end dates, depending on holidays and other days off. Many of the items that you take for granted in your classroom are actually pretty new and have a connection to the month of August! While today most classrooms have at least one computer in them (and some have one for every student!), do you realize that your parents didn’t have computers in their elementary-school classrooms? In fact, the first IBM PC or personal computer was introduced on August 12, 1981. The first PC cost what would equal about $3000 today. And what do you love to use the computer for? Surfing the World Wide Web? Just 20 years ago, that wasn’t possible. That’s right! The World Wide Web celebrates its 20th anniversary this month on August 1. The “Web” was suggested by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Switzerland. By that October, he had designed a prototype Web browser. In short, the World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents that are accessed by the Internet. With a Web browser, you can view Web pages containing text, images and video, navigating between them by using hyperlinks. So, now you know! Now, get ready for school and learn some more — after all, knowledge is power. Did you know that Spiderman is 48 years old? He was first introduced on August 1, 1962 by Marvel Comics in issue #15 of Amazing Fantasy. Spiderman got his own comic book in March of 1963.

Go On a Virtual Field Trip and Follow the Journey of 11 Sea Turtles One of the greatest things about school is the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom through field trips. However, many school systems have had to cut back on field trips due to budget cuts (in other words, no money!). But, the good news is that with all of the terrific technology that we have today, we can participate and experience things without even being there. The Tour de Turtles is the perfect opportunity to take a virtual field trip! You can gather your friends around the computer this fall as Sea Turtle Conservancy tracks endangered sea turtles in the third annual Tour de Turtles Migration Marathon! For three months, Tour de Turtles will follow 11 individual sea turtles as they travel from their nesting beaches to unknown feeding grounds. They track them using satellite-tracking technology, and the goal is to be the first turtle to reach the 2,620-kilometer or 1,627-mile distance. As few as one out of 1,000 hatchlings actually survive to adulthood. By tracking migratory patterns, scientists learn more about sea turtle life cycles and can identify the threats that turtles encounter in their travels. Teachers and students can follow the turtles along with researchers by visiting www.tourdeturtles.org. With a dedicated Web page for each racer, kids will be able to get to know these determined swimmers. Similar to a human marathon, each turtle will also be swimming to raise awareness about a particular “cause” or threat to sea turtle survival. There are also educational contests just for classrooms. Sea Turtle Conservancy (formerly Caribbean Conservation Corporation) is the world’s oldest sea turtle research and conservation group. It was founded in 1959 by world-renowned sea turtle expert Dr. Archie Carr to save sea turtles from extinction through science-based conservation.

New Moon or Full Moon falls within 24 hours of when the Moon is nearest the Earth in its monthly orbit. (This is called perifee. The word spring doesn’t mean the season, but “to rise up” as in “to spring up.”

The Perigean Spring Tides occur on August 10. Spring tides are the highest possible tides and occur when the

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Three Americans made the first balloon crossing of the Atlantic Ocean on August 17, 1978. They started in Presque Isle, Maine, on August 11 and landed in Miserey, France, in the Double Eagle II. The trip was 3,200 miles and took over 137 hours.

AUGUST 2010


AR

UND THE W

Singapore

Singapore is hosting the first ever Youth Olympic Games (YOG) from August 14 to 26, 2010. The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games will have some 5,000 athletes and officials from the 205 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), along with an estimated 20,000 local and international volunteers, and more than 320,000 spectators. Young athletes — between 14 and 18 years old — will compete in 26 sports and take part in a Culture and Education Program.

United States

August 2 is the anniversary of the official signing of the Declaration of Independence. That’s right! It wasn’t July 4th — that was the day the Declaration was adopted by Congress and draft copies were signed by some. On August 2, 1776, 50 men took part in signing the Declaration. Several others signed later that year.

RLD

China

The Chung Yuan Festival — or Festival of the Hungry Ghosts — is an important festival in China held on August 24. It is held on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month. According to legend, in the seventh lunar month, the souls of the dead are released to roam the Earth. Prayers, food and ghost money are offered to appease the ghosts. A big party is held with burning incense and floating lanterns to keep the spirits happy. Street operas and puppet shows are also performed.

Zebra

Wow, those are amazing stripes! And did you know that no two zebras are exactly alike? Their stripes are unique to each individual. So why all the stripes? Some say that the stripes help confuse predators when a group of zebras are moving together, making the zebra look like one huge striped animal that no smart lion would want to tackle. Others say that it is effective camouflage in tall grass against their main predator, the lion. Even though grass is not black or Kingdom: Animalia white, the lion is color blind, so the vertical stripes could make the zebra almost invisible in the grass. The color pattern also helps to deflect heat that hits Phylum: Chordata the zebra’s body in its harsh environment. Subphylum: Vertebrata So which is it: are zebras black with white Class: Mammalia stripes or white with black stripes? There are conflicting opinions, but most experts agree Order: Perissodactyla that the fur is black with white stripes, and Family: Equidae the skin underneath the fur is dark also. Species: Perissodactlya The zebra is an herbivorous, or planteating, animal. Other animals in its Genus “Equus” are the horse and the donkey. Zebras, in size, are usually between a large horse and a smaller donkey. Zebras tend to have bulky, or heavy-set, bodies, a stiff mane (like a mohawk!) and a long tail with a wispy-haired end. They are usually short in height, and zebras have heavy heads. Zebras live in Africa. Currently, there are three species of zebra who live in open plains, dense groves of bushes or shrubs and rocky hillsides of Africa. Zebras travel in herds, and in parts of Africa, like the east Serengeti in Tanzania, there can be as many as 200,000 zebras. Herds of zebra are always organized into family groups and are led by a stallion, or male. Zebras run quickly and can achieve speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Enemies of the zebra include the lion, leopard and humans, who hunt zebras for their flesh and skins. Despite being hunted, some races of zebras have increased, like the Hartmann’s zebras, found in the mountains and coastal plains of southwest Africa. They increased in 1980 to approximately 15,000, after having only 7,000 in existence in 1967. Zebras that live in the plains and eastern Africa remain numerous to this day. Sources: “Infoplease” Encyclopedia; The International Museum of the Horse. Written by contributing writer Ashley Young.

AUGUST 2010

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WHERE IN THE WORLD IS... FRANCE?

It’s time to get out your globe! You need to know about the imaginary lines on globes and maps. These lines are called lines of latitude and longitude, and they tell a pilot or ship’s captain exactly where in the world a certain place is located. Basically, latitude lines (also called parallels) are the horizontal lines on your map. Lines of longitude (also called meridians) are the vertical lines that run from the North Pole to the South Pole. This mapping system is written in degrees and uses the symbol °. Get ready to travel the world! France is located at 46º North and 2º East on the globe. The small country borders the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel. It is between Belgium and Spain, southeast of the United Kingdom. It also borders the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain. The entire country is a little smaller than the U.S. state of Texas. Even though it is a small country, it is the largest West European Nation. France is a very old European country. France used to be ruled by a king, but the French Revolution in 1787 changed the government several times. France celebrates National Day on July 14. This is the day that peasants stormed the Bastille (the king's prison) and created a new government. France's government is now a republic, ruled by a prime minister. All people over 18 can vote for representatives in the government. The main language is French, and the capital is Paris. France produces coal, iron ore and zinc. The nation's main exports are machinery, vehicles and aircraft. France is also known for its cheese and wine and one of the greatest sporting events in the world, the Tour de France. The Tour de France is a bicycle race that covers 2130 miles across France. The 2010 race was July 3-25. In addition to the main land mass of France in Western Europe, France has several territories that are part of the country. French Guiana is located in Northern South America, Guadeloupe and Martinique are View of the marina outside the walled city islands in the Caribbean and Reunion is an island in the Indian Ocean near South Africa. of St. Malo in Brittany. Sources: The World Factbook prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency.

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AUGUST 2010


AN AQUATIC ANIMAL CARE SPECIALIST? I love animals! I’ve often thought that maybe one day, I might like to have a job where I work with animals all day long. This month, I talked with Jamie Kish, an Aquatic Animal Care Specialist with Disney Cruise Lines. Jamie, from Philomath, Oregon, just started this job three months ago, but she has been pursuing marine biology since she was 12 years old. She now works on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay in the Bahamas. Jamie really loves her job and took a few minutes to tell me all about it.

TRUMAN: What does it take to become an aquatic animal care specialist? JAMIE: To become an aquatic animal care specialist, it takes a lot of commitment, drive and passion for the animal care field. Having a major passion and commitment towards providing the best care possible for an animal is probably the most important quality to have! One of the biggest things a potential employer looks for in the marine biology field is experience. I highly recommend volunteering and getting involved as much as possible at aquariums, fish hatcheries, even at events like local beach clean-ups! As far as education goes, having a college degree in marine biology or a related biology field is very important. You can actually start learning some important skills right now! Take as many science-related classes as you can! They will definitely help you out in the future, and they are also really fun classes to take! Another thing that is very helpful, and often a requirement to have, is an open-water scuba-diving certification. TRUMAN: When and why did you first become interested in this profession? JAMIE: I fell in love with the ocean at a pretty young age. I was 11 when I realized that I wanted to spend my life working with aquatic animals, mainly stingrays and sharks! When I was 12, I started volunteering at my local aquarium and dedicated nine years to learning what it takes to work in an aquarium and how to work with awesome aquatic species! I cannot imagine doing anything else with my life!

will quickly swim away! The stingray shuffle will keep both you and the stingray from getting hurt! TRUMAN: What is the best part of your job? JAMIE: The best part of my job is that I get to work and take care of one of my favorite animals on the planet! Working with stingrays is so rewarding! Also, the fact that I get to share the beauty and intelligence of stingrays with the guests that visit Castaway Cay is great! I hope that I am able to inspire guests of all ages and make them fall in love with the ocean, just as I did when I was younger! TRUMAN: Do you live on Castaway Cay? JAMIE: Yes, I live on Castaway Cay! It is incredible living here! I love the fact that I constantly get to be outdoors and in the water while I am working. I really like living on an island because I enjoy a lot of outdoor activities, like scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and hiking! Also, Jamie Kish is an Aquatic Animal the people I get to work with here on the island Care Specialist who works with are some of the most awesome people I have stingrays at Castaway Cay. ever met. They definitely make living on the island feel like home. TRUMAN: What’s the hardest part of your job? JAMIE: The hardest part of my job is keeping track of all of the stingrays in the lagoon! A lot of the stingrays look alike, and sometimes it is hard to tell who is who! It is very important to get to know the animals and their different behaviors. This way we can make sure every stingray is healthy.

TRUMAN: What do you do each day? What’s a typical day like? JAMIE: My day usually starts out with preparing food for all of the Southern Stingrays in our lagoon. We weigh out the stingray food for the day, which consists of squid, shrimp and stingray gel cubes. These gel cubes are very important for the stingrays. Just as you take vitamins every day to stay healthy, the stingray gel cubes keep our animals extra healthy! Once the food is ready and the kitchen is clean, the stingray team and I start feeding the stingrays. We feed them seven times throughout the day in our stingray lagoon. The stingrays are all taught to come into the interaction stations, and to target right on top of a Mickey Mouse-shaped plastic target. Once they land on the Mickey target, they are rewarded with a handful of food! While feeding the stingrays, we will record daily behaviors and perform a quick visual health assessment of each stingray. This is very important because the animals can’t tell us when they are not feeling well, so we keep an extra-close eye on them and watch for signs that will tell us if the stingray isn’t feeling well. We also have to keep the stingray lagoon safe and clean for not only the stingrays, but also for the guests that come to the island on our cruise ships! We will do things like clean the lagoon and also snorkel the lagoon a few times a week to make sure the environment is a safe home for the stingrays. Once a month, we will gather up all of our stingrays and groom their barbs. Just as you groom your toenails and fingernails, we groom the barb that is on the stingray’s tail! This way, all of our guests and crew members will be safe in the stingray lagoon. This doesn’t harm the stingray, just as grooming your fingernails and toenails doesn’t harm you! TRUMAN: Are you ever afraid of being hurt by the animals? JAMIE: I have never been afraid of our stingrays. They are very gentle animals, although wild stingrays do still have a venomous barb on their tail. Most people get hurt by stingrays because they accidently step on a camouflaged stingray hiding in the sand. To prevent getting stung by a stingray, just practice the stingray shuffle! Drag and shuffle your feet through the sand in the water. That way, if a stingray is hidden in front of you, they

AUGUST 2010

TRUMAN: What is your favorite animal? JAMIE: I have two favorite animals. My first one is the Giant Pacific Octopus. They are fascinating animals and are very intelligent and beautiful! I also like how their suction cups stick to your skin and make a funny popping sound when you peel them off! My second favorite animal is the Spotted Eagle Ray. They are so graceful and beautiful, and just like their relative, the Southern Stingrays we have here, they are very intelligent and can be taught to do some really neat things. TRUMAN: What is your favorite hobby or thing to do when you are not working? JAMIE: My favorite hobby is photography. I just bought an underwater camera and have been snorkeling like crazy lately so I can get some good shots of the gorgeous reefs that are found around Castaway Cay. I also love to paint, explore and attempt to sing karaoke! TRUMAN: What advice would you give to kids who are interested in this profession? JAMIE: Volunteer! Get as much experience as possible. Not only is it incredibly fun to volunteer, but you also get to learn all about aquatic animal care, and about the ocean environment! Take as many science classes as you can in school, too! You will learn so many awesome and exciting things about animals, and our beautiful planet! Also, never stop trying to reach your dreams. Sometimes it will take a lot of time and a good amount of hard work, but in the end, having a job that you love is definitely worth it! TRUMAN: Wow, it must be awesome to live on an island and work with aquatic animals every day. Thanks for sharing!

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Get on the bus!

Truman and his friends are heading to the bus stop. Don’t be late!

School Word Find

It’s back-to-school time! Can you find all the words that have to do with school? ART BOOKS CAFETERIA GYMNASIUM HISTORY

Q P N W W P Q F H A Z H Y K T Manners Rule! Complete the Sentence! Place the following words in the right sentence. Embarrassed Friends Manners

Rules

Comfortable

X C G O L Y N A Y I A R T O X

G Y M N A S I U M R L F Z O F

S L B R P T T D H E S S D B T

LANGUAGE MATH MUSIC NOTEBOOK PENCIL

O P A C N U S A U T D P J E Z

I T E N C H N U P E E H D T E

H J C L G H X O D F J S G O O

G A I H L U I T W A Q A A N R

Z I S T B I A N Y C H E H E L

READING SCHOOL SCIENCE SPELLING

D M U A W L N G J D C I A P A

F A M M O O Y G E N S D E S D

X Z O O S A F N E T I N K X A

U X H C R D U I O N C O P M N

O C N N B O C R G I O Q T U O

S P Q E B S Y C L B F Q S S F

1. A “Cool Kind Kid” learns _ _ _ _ _ _ _ to know how to behave. 2. A “Cool Kind Kid” uses good manners so he won’t be _ _ _ _ _ _ . . 3. A “Cool Kind Kid” is liked by others and has many _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . 4. A “Cool Kind Kid” knows good manners will help others feel _ _ _ _ _ _ around him. 5. A “Cool Kind Kid” knows our world would be a mess without _ _ _ _ _ to help us get along. © Cool Kind Kid

Answers: 1. manners, 2. embarrassed, 3. friends, 4. comfortable, 5. rules

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AUGUST 2010


Conservation o r n e r

Four Ways to Pack a “Green” School Lunch

Manners Rules Help Us Have Fun

By Barbara Gilmour Tanner, Truman the dragon and their friends thought that rules were no fun until they learned The Golden Rule — treat people the way you want to be treated. They found out that The Golden Rule is a cool rule that helps them learn to be kind and cool. I asked the kids if they could think of some other manners rules. They all answered, “Saying please and thank you.” Nicole added, “Sharing your toys.” Carman said, “Playing fair.” And Rudy said, “Not being rude.” Tanner wanted to know who makes up the rules. I explained that they start because of a need for them. Let’s use a game as an example. When I count to 3, start the game. “1, 2, 3, GO!” Why aren’t you playing? What! No rules? You don’t know what to do without rules, do you? It’s the rules that let us know how to play the game. Get some friends together and join us in this game example. Choose a red team and a blue team. When the red team scores, they get two points, but when the blue team scores, they get only one point. I can hear you saying, “That’s not FAIR!” No, it isn’t. The rules help us play fair so that everyone has fun. Manners rules also help us treat everyone fairly, with kindness and respect, so that everyone has a good time. They help us be a good friend and have fun together. If we tease, pick on or bully a friend, how long will we have that friend? Manners rules help us know how to act so people will like us. That’s when Truman said that he knew a manners rule. “I don’t blow fire on my friends so that I don’t hurt them.” Everyone agreed that’s a good manners rule for dragons. Pretend you’re going for a ride in the car, and there are no stop signs, no traffic lights and no speed limits. What would happen? Would the other drivers stop and say, “You go first”? Would it be safe to drive as fast as you wanted? That might be scary. Many manners rules for how to drive politely and safely have been made into laws. Do you think you should be quiet when your teacher or another student is talking? Yes, because it’s polite to listen to someone else when he or she is talking. I’ll bet you can think of many places in your school where manners rules apply. What about the playground, the cafeteria, the gym or on the bus? Manners rules apply at home, too. Some rules are for your safety, and others help family members get along. Manners rules help us treat our family with love, kindness and respect — that’s what being a “Cool Kind Kid” is all about. Next time we’ll find out where manners matter (Hint: Manners matter EVERYWHERE!). Barbara Gilmour, Tanner’s grandmom, is the creator and developer of the Tanner’s Manners: Be a “Cool Kind Kid” Social Skills, Character Values and Anti-Bullying educational materials and the award -winning “Cool Kind Kid” Audio CD. She also writes the Children’s Manners Blog offering tips for teaching your children manners. http://childrenmanners.blogspot.com. The “Cool Kind Kid” team is committed to helping kids reject bullying by offering them the social skills tools they need to redefine “cool.” ©Cool Kind Kid 866-KID-KIND, www.CoolKindKid.com

AUGUST 2010

This is the season for school lunches, as thousands of students head back to the classroom — and lunchroom. For those who bring a lunch from home, here are ways to make it healthy for your body and the planet. 1. Parents — choose healthy items that the child will eat. Nothing is more wasteful than a lunch that ends up in the trash rather than the stomach! Kids — eat what your parents send! If you don’t like something, let your parents know instead of continuing to throw it away. 2. Skip the brown bags. Disposable paper lunch bags are wasteful, and reusable lunch carriers are much more eco-friendly. Today there are lunch bags that are fun, character-themed or subdued in color and style — and they are often insulated to keep food at the right temperature. 3. Select organic foods. Whether it’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a pizza on a pita, choose foods that are organically grown or local. Supermarket shelves have plenty of organic options that are free from pesticides and harmful growing practices. These foods are healthier and more sustainable. 4. Get your favorite foods in bulk. Cereal treats, granola bars and crackers can all be bought in big boxes. Then use your own reusable containers to pack your lunchbox. This approach saves money spent on individually packaged items. And it saves on packaging and extra trips to the store, both of which are wasteful. Sources: Metro Creative Connection and Pentel® of America.

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COME OUT AND PLAY! Fun on Water: Water Skiing!

You’ve probably heard of snow skiing, but have you ever seen or heard of water skiing? It is different from snow skiing because instead of skiing on a solid, frozen surface, you ski on water! In order to water ski, you must hold onto a rope, known as a ski handle, stand on two special boards, called skis, and be pulled behind a boat while riding on top of the water. However, water skiing should not be done without prior training and supervision of adults or trained professionals. And, you should always wear a life jacket. While there is some debate, Ralph Samuelson is best known as the original inventor of the water ski. Samuelson is known as one of the youngest inventors of a popular recreational sport that still takes place today. He was only one day away from his nineteenth birthday when he successfully water skied for the first time. After much trial and error, Samuelson was able to ski on the waters of Lake Pepin at Lake City, Minnesota, on Sunday, July 2, 1922, while being pulled by a boat. Prior to Samuelson’s triumph, he tried launching himself from an aquaplane and was able to ski a very short distance, but was not satisfied. An aquaplane is a board that skims over the water when being towed at a high speed by a boat. The boat was driven by Ben Samuelson, Ralph’s brother, traveling at 14 knots

speed in the water and was powered by a Saxon truck engine. Samuelson then tried going to a local lumberyard, buying two pine boards and making them into instruments he could use to ski on top of the water. The pine boards he bought cost one dollar a piece, and in order to change them into boards he could use to ride across the water, he boiled the tips of the boards in a copper kettle and curved them up by clamping them for two days. Samuelson got some scraps from a harness shop and made binders for his feet to go onto the skis. He then got 100 feet of sash cord and talked a blacksmith into making him an iron ring for a handle to go on the end of the cord. Samuelson wrapped the ring with black tape to make the grip softer on his hands; then he and his sister Harriet painted the skis white. Samuelson went back out on the lake July 2 and tried pushing up on his skis with the front tips and began successfully water skiing. Today the sport of water skiing is enjoyed by adults and children alike. Water skiing has also given birth to other water sports that involve being towed by a boat, like wakeboarding, which is similar to snowboarding, and tubing. Sources:eSSORTMENT-The Water Ski Museum and Hall of Fame Written by Ashley Young, contributing writer for Kidsville News!

Art Gallery Eileen Gray: Furniture as Art? home. Eileen was fascinated with the Japanese art of lacquering and began makThink furniture is not art? Well, think again! Eileen ing lacquered folding screens in 1910. In a few short years, her work was noticed Gray was an Irish lacquer artist, architect and furniture by some major art collectors, and by 1922, she had designer. She used geometric designs and patterns to create opened her own shop where she sold the lacquered tables and screens that she made. furniture that is now considered As her artistic talents developed, Eileen became an inspiration behind modern friends with some Dutch artists who were using architecture. geometric shapes to make new sorts of art. She Eileen Gray was born on started experimenting with geometric shapes herself August 9, 1878, into a wealthy and began making functional furniture with confamily with five children, includtemporary geometric patterns. As the years passed, ing herself. She spent part of her Eileen took on new and different projects. She childhood in Ireland and part of it at her family’s city home in designed a space-saving folding “S” chair and London. Eileen’s father was an furnished whole houses for her art clients. Some of amateur artist. When she was her designs were featured in exhibits with the Union a child, he took her on paintdes Artistes Modernes, or Union of Modern Artists. ing tours in other countries. Although her work was forgotten about for some time, it saw a major revival in the 1970s. The Together, they traveled through modern furniture company ClassiCon has since Switzerland and Italy, painting reissued much of her work. Eileen died in her apartwhat they saw. When Eileen ment in Paris on Halloween, October 31, 1976. She finished high school in 1898, she enrolled at the Slade School of Fine Art in London to study drawing. While a was 98 years old. The Transat Chair designed by Eileen Gray and student, she worked part-time at a furniture-making shop manufactured by Editions Ecart International. Written by Tamar Burris, a former elementary school teacher who now works as a freelance writer where she learned all about the art of Asian lacquers, a and curriculum developer for PBS, the Discovery unique and beautiful way of finishing wood. Channel and other education-related companies. Sources: Design Museum: Eileen In 1900, Eileen took her first trip to Paris to study art. After finishing school Gray, http://designmuseum.org/design/eileen-gray; Eileen Gray at Art Directory, in London, she moved to Paris to take more art classes at two well-known French http://www.gray-eileen.com/ art schools, École Colarossi and Académie Julian. By 1907, Paris had become her

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Red, White & True Mysteries A Man Named Rex Became King of the Restaurant Industry Something interesting happened a few years back with the Niemann family. Let’s see – was it 2007 or 2008? Oh yeah, it was 1981. Several of my siblings and I rode our horses over to my sister’s house. She and her husband lived behind a restaurant that had a drive-thru lane. We thought it would be fun to place an order at the drive-thru lane and then ride our horses to the drive-thru window to pick up our food. You can imagine the employee’s surprise when we pulled around the corner of the building on our horses. She said that we were the first people ever to do that. Anyway, thinking about that gave me the idea for this week’s story. The story is about a man named Rex who was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by his high school class – despite the fact that he dropped out of high school at age 15! Rex became a big TV star, but he was not an actor. He was also a huge philanthropist, as he and his wife donated millions to various children’s charities. Rex was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1932, never knowing his birth mother. She was a single mom who gave him up for adoption. Rex took his adoptive father’s name, and his adoptive mother died when Rex was just five. Rex’s construction worker Dad re-married twice, but both of these women died young, too. Rex’s Dad moved the family to a new city whenever he took a new construction job. Rex found his purpose early in life, and that purpose was to run the best restaurant in the world. At age 12, he began working at a restaurant in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, which was called Hobby House. It was here that Rex met the legendary Colonel Harland Sanders of KFC fame. When his Dad moved again, Rex decided to stay in Fort Wayne. He dropped out of school – which he said was the biggest mistake of his life – and went to work full-time. He went on to marry a waitress at the restaurant named Lorraine Buskirk. They had five children, and the youngest one was named Melinda (her nickname was Wendy). Later, in 1962, Colonel Sanders asked Rex to move to Columbus, Ohio, to take over four struggling restaurants in exchange for a 45%

AUGUST 2010

stake. He did so well in turning them around that he sold his stake back to Colonel Sanders for $1.5 million just five years later. One of Rex’s many innovations in the restaurant business was to create the Kentucky Fried Chicken sign with the red-striped rotating bucket of chicken for Colonel Sanders. Rex went back to get his GED diploma 45 years after he dropped out of school, even attending the prom with his wife, which is when he was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” By the way, he and his wife were also voted prom king and queen. And what about that fast-food restaurant where we rode our horses through the drive-thru lane way back in 1981? That would be our local Wendy’s restaurant, which is part of the chain that Rex David Thomas founded in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio. You know him as Dave Thomas. Dave Thomas didn’t invent the drive-up window, but he was the first one to make it succeed. Later, he became the first person to open salad bars in all of his restaurants. This high-school dropout was smart enough to figure out how to grow a restaurant chain faster than anyone else could, too. He offered franchises to people for an entire state or region, whereas other franchise operations merely offered them on a city-by-city basis. This helped Dave Thomas grow his Wendy’s chain from 100 restaurants to 1,000 restaurants quicker than either McDonald’s or Burger King did. He went on to build his chain into a $7 billion company with more than 6,000 restaurants. His 800 TV commercials earned him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. His biggest and proudest accomplishment, though, was the work he did on behalf of children. One of his contributions is his Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (http://www.davethomasfoundation.org), which he and his wife established in 1992 — one year before he graduated from high school. Dave Thomas was once shy about the fact that he was adopted, but he overcame that and went on to promote adoption until the day he died in 2002. © 2010 Paul Niemann. This story is part of the Red, White & True Mysteries series by author Paul Niemann. For more information, please visit www.InventionMysteries.com.

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At the Movies Nanny McPhee Returns (In Theaters: August 20) Maggie Gyllenhaal adopts a British accent as Mrs. Isabel Green, the mother of an unruly boy and girl in this sequel to the popular “Nanny McPhee” franchise based on the book series by Christianna Brand. Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay and once again plays Nanny McPhee, the notso-pretty-but-magical nanny who helps only when she’s “needed but not wanted,” and not when she’s “wanted but not needed.” Mrs. Green is attempting to operate her family farm while her husband (played by Ewan McGregor) is away at war. Isabel’s children Megsie (Lil Woods) and Norman (Asa Butterfield) refuse to play nice with their spoiled city cousins who occupy their home for an extended visit. With the aid of some magical surprises, Nanny McPhee teaches the children her three important lessons of sharing, not fighting and helping each other. As the tagline says, “You’ll believe that pigs can fly!” Rated PG for rude humor, some language and mild thematic elements. (Universal Pictures) Flipped (In Theaters: August 27) Rob Reiner, the director of great kids’ movies like Stand By Me and The Princess Bride, takes his audience on a nostalgic journey of first love between two awkward eighth-graders. In a ‘50s-era rural setting of soft sunlight, second-graders Bryce Loski (Callan McAuliffe) and Juli Baker (Madeline Carroll) meet for the first time. Juli thinks it’s love at first sight, but Bryce is clueless about girls, and especially about the independently minded Juli. As school mates and next-door neighbors, Bryce spends the next six years trying to avoid Juli, who loves trees, chickens and the idea of one day winning a kiss from the blue-eyed Bryce. Based on Wendelin Van Draaned’s young adult novel, Flipped is a warmhearted child’s romance story about family values that’s designed to entertain parents and their

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children alike. No one ever forgets one’s first love, probably because it’s all so confusing. Rated PG for language and some thematic material. (Warner Brothers Pictures) Movies on DVD Diary of a Wimpy Kid (In Stores: August 3) Zachary Gordon plays precocious middle-school kid Greg Heffley, who keeps a journal of his daily humiliations, triumphs and goofy shenanigans in this adaptation of the first book in Jeff Kinney’s children’s series. Still small in size, Greg is eagerly waiting for a growth spurt and making plans to be rich and famous if he can only escape from his annoying friends and the mean bullies that taunt him. It’s only after meeting a local newspaper reporter named Angie (Chloë Moretz) that Greg begins to learn the importance of self-respect. The same filmmaker that made Hotel for Dogs (Thor Freudenthal) directs this children’s comedy, complete with stickfigure animation, that shows how a little determination can go a long way. Rated PG for some rude humor and language. (20th Century Fox) Bugs Bunny: Hare Extraordinaire (In Stores: August 10) This collection of classic cartoons, featuring that wascally wabbit Bugs Bunny, range from 1950 to 1964. Titles like “Lighter than Hare,” “Napoleon Bunny-part” and “The Million Hare” feature know-it-all Bugs Bunny matching wits with Daffy Duck and Yosemite Sam in zippy animated comedies that never get old, no matter how many times you watch them. For all of the attention that modern-day children’s movies attract for their use of 3D animation, there’s still nothing better than the classic Bugs Bunny cartoons. Featuring symphonic musical scores, great vocal actors like Mel Blanc and brilliant animation directors like Chuck Jones and Fritz Freleng, the 15 Bugs Bunny episodes included here will keep young ones laughing for years to come. Not Rated. (Warner Home Video) Cole Smithey, also known as “the smartest film critic in the world,” has been a film critic for 11 years and writes for over 50 publications, in print and on-line. Truman loves to watch movies and has the highest appreciation for great popcorn.

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AUGUST 2010


Identity Crisis? Although there’s much to me you never will see I surround you and pound you. You never can flee. Without me you’d starve and be blinded and cold. The oceans would freeze and darkness take hold. What am I? I am light! The tiny visible fraction of me is all you see. You do not see the radio waves from TV towers and satellites and cell phones and space. You do not see the infrared light from your own warm body. You do not see the ultraviolet light from the stars and the galaxies, nor the x-rays and gamma rays from exploding stars. People have now invented sensors to detect me in all my forms. But first, they had to solve some mysteries about me. Scientists say This beautiful spiral galaxy is called that I am waves. M81. The Galaxy Evolution Explorer, a space They describe me telescope, made this image by collecting only by the length of my waves. When I have the ultraviolet photons. This galaxy looks quite different seen with only visible light photons. a long wavelength,

like a radio wave, I am tired and low on energy. When I have a short wavelength, like an ultraviolet wave or x-ray, I’m quite peppy. But no matter what my energy level, when I’m traveling through space, I always go the same speed — the speed of light, which is 186,000 miles (300,000 kilometers) per second. OK. I agree I am waves. But those same scientists also say I am particles, that I travel in tiny packets of energy called photons. Some of my photons carry very little energy. These are my radio waves. Some of my photons carry lots of energy. These are my ultraviolet waves, x-rays and gamma rays. Well, gosh, why don’t they make up their minds? Still, I can sympathize. I do have my ups and downs. But I am always a bundle of energy! Have some fun with some of my photons. Play the new Photon Pile-up game at The Space Place. Help the Galaxy Evolution Explorer collect enough ultraviolet and other photons from space to make pictures of beautiful galaxies and the glowing remains of exploded stars. Go to spaceplace.nasa.gov/galex/photons.

School Word Find

It’s back-to-school time! Can you find all the words that have to do with school? ART BOOKS CAFETERIA GYMNASIUM HISTORY

Q P N W W P Q F H A Z H Y K T

X C G O L Y N A Y I A R T O X

G Y M N A S I U M R L F Z O F

LANGUAGE MATH MUSIC NOTEBOOK PENCIL

S L B R P T T D H E S S D B T

O P A C N U S A U T D P J E Z

I T E N C H N U P E E H D T E

H J C L G H X O D F J S G O O

G A I H L U I T W A Q A A N R

Z I S T B I A N Y C H E H E L

READING SCHOOL SCIENCE SPELLING

D M U A W L N G J D C I A P A

F A M M O O Y G E N S D E S D

X Z O O S A F N E T I N K X A

U X H C R D U I O N C O P M N

O C N N B O C R G I O Q T U O

S P Q E B S Y C L B F Q S S F

Get on the bus!

Truman and his friends are heading to the bus stop. Don’t be late!

This article was written by Diane K. Fisher and provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

AUGUST 2010

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AUGUST 2010


P ARENTOWN’S K ID S MART Saving for College

Ahorrando Para la Universidad

For families with children, funding a college education can be one of the most arduous financial hurdles to plan for. Especially in today’s job market, some form of formal education is a requirement just to be considered for a job interview. When you sit down to plan for college, you must be prepared to look at several factors: whether your child will attend public in-state, public out-of-state or private colleges, and the cost of living in cities and areas outside of your home state. I believe that starting with your state-sponsored 529 plan will put you well on your way to saving for college. Before I get into the state-sponsored 529 savings plans, go to www.collegeboard.com to track current college costs. 529 Plans 529 savings plans are college savings trusts set up under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service code. Go to www.savingforcollege.com/ for more details on your state-sponsored 529 plan. The following statements include facts to clear-up common misconceptions about 529 plans: 1. 529 savings plans can be used at virtually any accredited college or university in the U.S. and at some foreign schools. 2. Earnings from 529 plans are not taxed when used to pay for eligible college expenses. 3. The account owner of a 529 plan maintains control over the use of the account. 4. Some states offer matching grants and other benefits to participants in its 529 plan. 5. Your 529 plan contribution qualifies for the $13,000 annual gift tax exclusion. 6. 529 plans come in two varieties: college savings plans and prepaid tuition plans. 7. 529 plans can be used to pay for tuition, room and board, fees, books, supplies and equipment required for enrollment. 8. Some states offer an income tax deduction or credit based on your contributions into a 529 plan. 9. There are no income limitations on a person’s ability to contribute to an account. 10. You can participate in almost any 529 plan across the country. 11. Over the past decade, college expenses at public universities have risen nearly 51%. 12. College graduates age 25 and over earn nearly twice as much as workers who stopped with a high school diploma. 13. Minimum contributions can be as little as $10. 14. In most states, you can contribute as much as $300,000 or more per beneficiary. 15. Prepaid plans are currently offered in 13 states. 16. More than $100 billion has been invested in 529 plans across the country. 17. More than 11 million 529 accounts have been opened. There are additional ways to save for college, such as an UTMA (Uniform Transfer to Minor’s Act) account and Coverdell IRAs, which I will cover in next month’s column. I will also cover financial aid and scholarships. READERS: Please send your questions about kids and money to kvnews@ kidsvillenews.com. We hope to start a new Q&A format for this section. Keva Sturdevant is the founder of Born To Save, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., with the mission of teaching kids of all ages the importance of saving and investing. Our goal is to begin conversations about money between parents and their kids in households across America. In an effort to foster those conversations, we grant actual shares of stock to kids across the country. Born To Save grants shares of stock to kids who register on our Web site at www.BornToSave.org.

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Para las familias con hijos pagar una educación universitaria puede ser la tarea financiera más difícil de planear. Especialmente con la situación en el mercado de trabajo, algún tipo de educación es requerida para que te consideren para una entrevista de trabajo. Cuando comienzas a planear ir a la universidad, debes considerar los siguientes factores: atenderán a una universidad pública dentro del estado, fuera del estado o una universidad privada. También tienes que considerar el costo de vivienda en la ciudad y las aéreas a las fueras de la ciudad. Creo que si empiezas con el plan 529 endorsado por el estado, iras en buen camino para ahorrar para la universidad. Antes de que les introduzca el plan 529 endorsado por el estado, visita www.collegeboard.com para ver el costo de la universidad. Plan 529 Planes de ahorro 529 son cuentas de ahorro especificados bajo la sección 529 del colegio del Servicio Intenro de Impuestos. Visita www.savingforcollege.com para aprender más acerca del plan 529 endorsado por el estado. Las siguientes declaraciones incluyen errores comunes de hechos e ideas acerca de los planes 529: 1. Los planes 529 pueden ser utilizados virtualmente en cualquier universidad acreditada en Estados Unidos y en algunas escuelas extranjeras. 2. Cuando te gastas las ganancias de tu plan 529 en gastos universitarios elegibles, el dinero esta libre de impuestos. 3. El dueño de la cuenta mantiene el control de la cuenta. 4. Algunos estados ofrecen becas y otros beneficios a los participantes en un plan 529. 5. Tus contribuciones al plan 529 califican para el regalo de $13,000 en exclusiones de impuestos. 6. Los planes 529 vienen en dos variedades: Planes de ahorros universitarios y planes de colegiaturas pre pagadas. 7. Puedes utilizar tu plan 529 para pagar colegiaturas, vivienda, libros, materiales, y el equipo necesario para enrolar en la escuela. 8. Algunos estados ofrecen una deducción de impuestos a crédito basado en tus contribuciones. 9. No hay limitaciones de tus ganancias para que la persona contribuya a la cuenta. 10. Puedes participar en cualquier plan 529 en la nación. 11. En la década pasada, los gastos universitarios en universidades privadas aumentaron casi un 51% 12. Personas que se gradúan de la universidad de 25 años para arriba ganan lo doble que las personas que solo se gradúan de la preparatoria. 13. Las contribuciones pueden ser tan mínimas como de $10. 14. En varios estados puedes contribuir hasta $300,000 o más por beneficiario. 15. Planes pre pagados se ofrecen actualmente en 13 estados. 16. Más de$100 billones se han invertido en planes 529 en el país. Hay maneras adicionales de ahorrar para la universidad tal como una cuenta UTMA (Acto de transferencia uniforme a menores de edad) Coverdell IRA’s que cubriré en la columna del próximo mes. También cubriré la ayuda económica y becas. Lectores: por favor manden sus preguntas acerca de niños y dinero a kvnews@kidsvillenews.com. Queremos empezar una seccion de Preguntas y Respuestas. Keva Sturdevant es la fundadora de Born To Save (Nacido Para Ahorrar), una organización sin fines de lucros con base en Washington, DC con la misión de enseñar a los niños de todas las edades la importancia de ahorrar e invertir. La meta es comenzar conversaciones acerca del dinero en los hogares a través de América, entre padres e hijos. En un esfuerzo para fomentar estas conversaciones, concedemos partes de acciones actuales a los niños. Visite nuestra pagina Web para registrar a tu niño(a) para ganar una parte de acción en nuestra rifa mensual www.BornToSave.org.

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P ARENTOWN’S K ID S HAPE MMR Link to Autism Retracted Dr. Wakefield surmised that it wasn’t exactly the MMR vaccine that The debate continues regarding routine childhood vaccines and caused the autism in his studies, but a gastrointestinal reaction to the shot their possible link to autism. Many parents are concerned about having that led to autism. According to Wakefield, “the virus their infants and toddlers receive the recommended used in the vaccine grew in the intestinal tract, leading inoculations. However, a recent study retraction the bowel to become porous because of inflammation. by the medical publication The Lancet may help Then material seeped from the bowel into the blood individuals make more informed decisions regarding affecting the nervous system and causing autism.” This their children’s health, especially about the MMR theory has been since discredited. shot. Columbia University, Massachusetts General In February 2010, The Lancet retracted a Hospital and the Centers for Disease Control controversial 1998 paper that linked the measles, and Prevention have since replicated parts of Dr. mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism. The Wakefield’s paper and found no correlation to GI study was discredited by further research, and it problems or subsequent autism. Since Wakefield’s was determined that the lead doctor on the study, study in 1998, more than 20 other studies have been Dr. Andrew Wakefield, had acted unethically. conducted around the world finding no correlation Investigations revealed that Dr. Wakefield had between MMR vaccines and autism. chosen a biased selection of patients. Parents who are still concerned about vaccines Dr. Wakefield has denied any wrongdoing in a should always discuss their anxiety with their children’s written statement and claims his Lancet paper never pediatrician. He or she can offer the most up-to-date definitively said that MMR vaccines cause autism. information about childhood vaccines and potential He is quoted as saying, “The Lancet paper does not side effects. claim to confirm a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Research into that possible connection is The CDC urges parents to remember that vaccines still going on.” are generally safe and should be an important part of children’s well visits. Many parents who have held off on the MMR The retraction of an important autism vaccine for their children or denied it entirely have Information and image courtesy of study sheds new light on the link quoted the 1998 paper as part of their reasoning. metrocreativeconnection.com. between autism and MMR.

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AUGUST 2010


KIDSVILLE KITCHEN

Together Time — Ask an adult for help with projects!

Back-to-School Meals: Easy and Nutritious

For many parents, back-to-school time can be stressful and hectic. Luckily, healthy eating doesn’t have to be. “As the mother of picky eaters, I am always trying to find ways to sneak nutritious foods into my daughters’ meals, especially during the school year when schedules can get packed and I don’t have a lot of time to prepare dinner,” said Sneaky Chef cookbook author Missy Chase Lapine. One of her secrets is to use Uncle Ben’s Whole Grain White Rice, the first and only whole grain rice that looks and tastes like white rice. Each serving contains nearly a full day’s worth of whole grains and has 4 to 5 grams of fiber per serving, meeting nearly 20 percent of the daily recommendation. Lapine has created a number of kid-friendly, healthy and easy wholegrain recipes that will help eliminate dinner table nutrition battles. This recipe for Chicken Parmesan Rice Casserole combines comforting flavors with whole grains in an easy one-dish recipe.

CHICKEN PARMESAN RICE CASSEROLE

Prep Time: Approximately 45 minutes Serves: 10 WHAT YOU NEED: • 2 boxes Uncle Ben’s Whole Grain White Rice Chicken • 1 medium sweet potato • 3 carrots • 3 to 4 tablespoons water • 2 1/2 cups cubed roasted or rotisserie chicken, ideally white meat • 2 1/2 cups store-bought tomato sauce • 3 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese HOW TO MAKE IT: • Prepare rice as instructed on box. •Preheat oven to 375°F and spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with oil. • For simple homemade Sneaky Chef Orange Puree, peel, chop and boil sweet potato and carrots for about 20 minutes until tender. Drain and add to food processor with 3 to 4 tablespoons water, and puree until smooth. (Makes about 2 cups of puree. Leftovers can be kept in refrigerator for up to three days or frozen for up to three months.) Place cooked rice and chicken in the prepared baking dish. Mix tomato sauce, and 1 cup Orange Puree (or baby food carrots) in a bowl. • Toss chicken and rice with sauce mixture and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese. Top casserole with a combination of Parmesan and remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese, sprinkling evenly over top. • Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover. Bake another 5 to 10 minutes or until top is lightly browned and bubbly. Courtesy of Family Features and Uncle Ben’s Rice. Recipe created by Missy Chase Lapine, author of The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals. www.TheSneakyChef.com

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Kidsville News - Aug 2010